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This pie is for you if you’re as addicted to coconut as I am. A Coconut Chess Pie is a baked coconut pie that’s creamy like custard and FULL of coconut flavor. It’s like eating a macaroon with a pudding base and a pie crust chaser. *swoon*
Easy Coconut Chess Pie Recipe
Why is coconut only a spring food? I eat it all year long but I only see it floating around the internet in force in spring (and then, as a cursory ingredient in tropical cocktails in summer). Coconut is treated like a spring sport: here in a flash, gone in an instant. It doesn’t even get Fall Ball or whatever baseball has in the autumn.
I love coconut all year – it’s actually one of my favorite flavors. In fact: I’ll often choose coconut over chocolate. I KNOW, RIGHT?
I’ve made this Coconut Chess Pie a few times now and, guys, it’s the best thing ever: it’s like a macaroon on crack, seriously. It’s got a smooth pudding like custard layer, made with eggs and buttermilk and coconut flavor and tons of sweetened coconut.
If you love coconut like I do this is going to be the pie that knocks your socks off!
What is a chess pie?
I’m glad you asked! I never knew about chess pies until I was a blogger. I think they’re more of a midwest or southern dessert because, as a Californian, I’d never seen one until a few years ago.
A chess pie is SO EASY because it has just a few ingredients. It’s egg based, with sugar and butter and flavorings. Some chess pies (like my Chocolate Chip Chess Pie) use cornmeal for binding, but this coconut version uses flour.
You can easily add flavorings to change up a chess pie to make lemon or chocolate or, now, coconut!
Another ingredient most chess pies have is buttermilk. Have you ever heard of a buttermilk pie? That’s basically a chess pie too!
What do you do if you don’t have buttermilk?
Believe me, if there is one ingredient that I always forget to buy, it’s buttermilk. But you can easily make your own!
To make your own buttermilk you can add vinegar to milk and let it sour up, that’s it! The rule of thumb is about 1 teaspoon of vinegar plus enough milk to make 1 cup equals one cup of buttermilk.
For all of my substitutions, be sure to check out my guide to baking substitutions here!
This Coconut Chess Pie comes together super easy. You can use a store-bought crust (I love Pillsbury) or make one from scratch.
The rest of the ingredients come together with a whisk in one bowl. Simply stir and pour, then bake. Top your Coconut Chess Pie with whipped cream or ice cream and then attack it with a fork. I won’t tell if you don’t even get a plate.
How do you tell when a chess pie is done?
You can use a knife to do the “toothpick test” around the edge of the pie, but I always do the jiggle test: simply jiggle the pie. If the center is only slightly jiggly, it’s done and will finish setting as it cools. It it seems really wet when you jiggle it, it’s not done.
How do you store a chess pie?
One thing I love about chess pies is that you can freeze them! If you happen to have any slices left over (or if you’re making your pie ahead and want to freeze it) you can. Just wrap it well in plastic wrap, or wrap each slice in a sealable sandwich bag. Let it defrost on the counter.
Store leftovers in the refrigerator if you’re not freezing them.
Be sure to check out my post on how I freeze almost all my desserts!
Tips for making this coconut chess pie:
- Be sure your pie crust is cold when you bake the pie. Use a pie shield for best results.
- Use coconut extract to amp up the coconut flavor of the pie. You don’t have to, but then it’ll taste like buttermilk pie with coconut in it instead of a coconut pie.
- Remove from the oven when the center is just a bit jiggly and it’ll set as it cools.
- Don’t slice it too soon or it’ll ooze and fall apart. It’s best if it’s completely cool before slicing.
- Make homemade whipped cream using some coconut extract!
- Be sure to see how to toast coconut for some garnish.
Tools for success:
Coconut Chess Pie Recipe
- 1 all butter pie crust or from a refrigerated pack of two, or frozen
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon (8g) all purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ¾ cups (350g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon coconut extract
- ¾ cup (177ml) buttermilk
- 2 ½ cups shredded sweetened coconut divided
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place pie crust in a 9” pie plate and crimp edges as desired. Chill until ready to fill.
- Whisk the eggs, then whisk in the flour and sugar until smooth. Whisk in the melted butter, both extracts, salt and the buttermilk. Stir in 2 cups of the coconut.
- Place prepared pie shell on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour filling into pie and then carefully place in oven. Cover the edges of the pie crust with strips of aluminum foil or a pie crust shield
- Bake pie for 40-45 minutes. After 25 minutes, remove the shield from the outside of the crust so the edges will brown. Cool completely before serving.
- Optional for serving: place remaining 1/2 cup of coconut on a baking sheet at bake at 350°F for just a few minutes, stirring often, until it starts to turn brown.
- This can also be done in a skillet over medium-low heat. Let cool.
- Serve pie with whipped cream or Cool Whip and toasted coconut.
**Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!**
Click here to see more of my ULTIMATE COCONUT recipes!
Recipe adapted from Food.com.
This post was originally posted in 2014. Photos and recipe updated 2019.
Last Updated on March 14, 2023
I’m using a deep dish frozen pie crust, of course with an aluminum tin. Is it normal that I still have a pie that jiggles after 70 minutes?
It should be slightly jiggly in the center when tapped but not roll like waves. It will set as it cools. That said, I have never baked this in a deep dish pie crust – did you adjust the recipe at all?
i used unsweetened coconut, and sprinkled some of the toasted coconut on top of the pie about half-way through cook time. it was amazing!
We love coconut and this pie is a coconut lover’s ideal. Super easy to bake — you will not regret trying it. We didn’t have the coconut extract and it is still delicious!
i did make a couple of adjustments–because I always find pies to be cloyingly sweet. only used 1 1/4 cup of sugar and used unsweetened coconut and it was fab. Also, substituted corn flour for the white flour because I think most chess pies use some sort of corn meal. Everyone loved it.
I made this exactly according to the recipe here. It was fabulous! Everyone loved it. I will make this again.
This is very good! It doesn’t keep super well (gets soggy and loses the macaroon-like texture), so I recommend not making too much that won’t get eaten within a day or two but wow it’s really good! I made it just as a one-off for thanksgiving and keep getting requested to make it again so thank god it’s an easy recipe. I do recommend using a deep pie pan because this recipe makes too much filling for a regular pie crust.
I used coconut rum instead of coconut extract and it added a good coconut flavor with a hint of rum. I’ll make this recipe again!